If you're anything like me, your first reaction upon finishing MISTER MIRACLE #11 was "WHAT?!"
First off, I know. I get it. I'm absolutely with you. Second, if you haven't finished the issue and have come here looking for spoilers, turn back. This is really an issue that deserves to be experienced with fresh eyes in real time.
In the interest of preserving that experience for as many people as possible, I'm going to try and skirt around the big final reveal as much as I can. However, consider this your official warning. Turn back now, pick up the issue, finish it, then meet me back here. Sound good?
So, we should probably talk about Metron, huh?
This isn't actually Metron's first Mister Miracle appearance, but he hasn't been around in the book all that much or that often. That's not unusual for him, really—Metron is actually a pretty unique entity in the Fourth World corner of the universe. He's actually neither from Apokolips or New Genesis, which makes him an automatic outlier. He has never really officially taken sides in the war, though he has on occasion stepped in to help the Justice Society or the Justice League which means people generally associate him more with New Genesis than Darkseid's armies—you know, on account of the whole "sometimes helpful" thing. Still, the on-again-off-again swing towards altruism notwithstanding, Metron is a difficult creature to sort out and one that people tend to (rightfully) feel a little wary of.
Traditionally, he's actually the holder of the Anti-Life Equation—knowledge which he was specifically given from the Source itself that he then gave to Darkseid. He also invented the technology that powers Boom Tubes, which is pretty intense in a wildly different way. He doesn't seem to have any innate superpowers beyond your traditional New God strength, endurance and immortality, but he owns the Mobius Chair, which he's virtually never seen without. The chair allows him to instantaneously relocate anywhere in space or time, including alternate realities and dimensions. He uses the Mobius Chair to continue his endless, compulsive quest for knowledge, which he then stores in the Chair's memory banks.
So basically, Metron is an ageless, timeless immortal being who is literally sitting on the universe's sum total of accumulated knowledge. He can be anywhere, at any time and has no proper allegiances or real loyalties.
If that's not terrifying, I don't know what is.
The last time we saw Metron in Mister Miracle (below), Scott thought he was dreaming, and I'll be honest, I kind of believed he was too. Metron offered up an ominous warning, but also seemed to be being pulled through space and time in such a way that he couldn't actually say everything he needed to, or stay in one place for very long.
Scott didn't seem to think much of it. I really didn't either. By now, I really should know better.
Of course, this raises some big questions even knowing that Metron is back in the picture. Namely, what is his end game here? What's actually going on with this alternate reality? What does all of this mean for Scott, Barda and baby Jake?
I spent some time last month trying to figure out exactly where this series was fitting into the larger picture, and by all accounts Metron just gave us our answer to that. But in doing so, he just tossed more unknowns into the mix. Is this really an alternate reality? If so, where does it diverge? Why did it diverge? Was Metron trying to warn Scott earlier so he would never find out, or was he trying to get Scott's attention so he would break free of the trap?
...Was Metron the trap all along or was he just the device to spring it? And either way, what does he get out of this? Most importantly, are Scott, Barda and Jack going to make it through all of this in one piece?
We've only got one issue left. Time to start hoping.